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MBTA on watch for train fare evaders

By L. Finch
Globe Correspondent / October 8, 2010

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It is not a good week to try to bamboozle the T.

The MBTA is cracking down on fare evasion, stepping up efforts on the commuter rail, subway, and bus systems against passengers who attempt to slip through the turnstiles without paying or sneak by with expired passes and counterfeit passes, transit officials said.

“Unfortunately, there’s always the temptation by a handful of customers to try these tricks, and that is to the detriment of our paying customers,’’ said General Manager Richard Davey. “If it happens once, that’s too much.’’

Commuter rail passengers on several trains in North and South Station will be asked to purchase tickets before boarding, and conductors with UV flashlights will scrutinize each ticket; special ink causes the orange arrow on the pass to glow in black light.

Inspectors will also be out in force at subway stations, keeping their eyes peeled for passengers hopping the turnstiles or piggy-backing their way through. And at stations without turnstiles, such as above-ground stops on the Green Line, plainclothes officers will be around, making sure passengers do not sneak onto the train in back without paying.

Fare evasion is not very common, but it happens, Davey said. When the transportation agency cracked down last year, officials netted a dozen or so counterfeit passes and even arrested a man in South Station for selling them.

The MBTA will periodically repeat its concentrated efforts against fare evasion, Davey said.

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